Cape Town - The debate about who is to blame for the high cost of private hospital care is still continuing, with a medical doctor giving his take on what he sees behind the scenes.
Fin24 user Tom writes:
I am in the medical profession. Hospitals do not care a lot about patients. There is more time spent on paperwork than treating patients.
As far as salaries are concerned, there is a dilemma.
People get paid on a scale and not on performance.
Highly skilled peopled are paid too little and many personnel whose qualifications are questionable are paid too much.
Hospital managers are too scared to dismiss poor performers because of the political emphasis.
A lot of personnel that I see in hospitals today do the work because they get a salary and not because they want to care for patients.
I completely agree that hospitals, like medical aids, are mostly in medicine for huge profits and not for patient care first.
READ: Debate on private hospital care heats up
Mike Duly, media liaison officer of Bonitas Medical Fund, also provides feedback:
The responses from both hospitals and medical scheme members and patients are very pertinent and underline the level of discomfort being experienced by consumers.
The Competition Commission is currently investigating the cost drivers in the private healthcare sector, but the very fact that they are having to do so, highlights the failure of the various players in the industry to partner with one another to make healthcare affordable.
Hospital groups, which are the largest contributors to the total healthcare bill, can make a significant difference by being more forthcoming during fee negotiations.
There also seems to be a fair amount of misinformation around medical schemes.
By law, medical schemes are non-profit organisations owned by the medical scheme members and as such medical schemes should be looking after members’ interests.
The right formula for making medical schemes more affordable is: Healthcare providers working together with the patient and the patient’s medical scheme to improve healthcare outcomes and make contributions more affordable.
In other words the patient/member comes first.
That is: Healthcare Provider + Patient + Medical Scheme = better health outcomes for patient + more affordable medical schemes contributions.
Idealistic perhaps, but achievable if there is a will.
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